Thursday, February 4, 2010

Selecting a new car is serious business

With an eight months old baby boy, it's a definite limit to how much time one can spend roaming around car dealerships. Not to mention that there is a definite limit to how much time one can stand being around slime-drippin', "Obsession" by Calvin Klein-reeking, polyester-wrapped weasels trying to convince you that purchasing THIS model NOW is the best decision you'll ever make.

Hence, it makes a lot of sense to do a lot of research before you actually enter a dealership. There are many things you have to consider, like what fuel source would you like your vehicle to run on (diesel, since the diesel process is thermodynamically more efficient than gasoline, hydrogen fuel cars won't be launched until 2012 and there is as of today not a single hybrid car of sufficient size on the market), station wagon vs. minivan or SUV (station wagon, since European market minivans typically are shorter, and since the SUV caste is a club I'd prefer not to have a membership in, douchebag-laden as it is), and the key decision; which BRANDS are relevant. Once you pick the brand, there is typically only one car model (with many variables, but still) to choose from, so this seems like a good place to start.

Using a process derived from available statistics and personal bias, my wife and I managed to eliminate most car brands before we ever even looked at their models online. Like:
  • Brands that are way more expensive than their performance and breakdown-statistics can justify. So long, Mercedes, Audi and BMW.
  • Brands that suck at fuel efficiency, which may be problematic getting decent service on, parts to, and aren't made to withstand winter. Sadly, so long every traditional American brand.
  • Brands that are soon to be extinct. Buh-bye, Saab.
  • Brands where the local service providers have given us plenty of reason to distrust their service. See ya, Ford.
  • Brands that are trying to shed their past history of making substandard (in every way imaginable) products, whether or not their new cars are decent (yeah, right). Lo siento, FIAT, SEAT and Skoda.
  • Brands we've had bad experience with as rental cars (a.k.a. the "Just say NO to french cars" clause). Au revoir, Renault, Citroen and Peugot.
  • Brands that don't really have models in the class you're looking for. Sayonara, Honda and Nissan.
  • Brands which have designs which lessen the available trunk volume.
  • Brands that have no business making automobiles. We're not really brand-obsessed, but if the car manufacturer made nothing but vibrators and electric nose hair trimmers up until five years ago, then I won't be caught dead in one of your wannabe vehicles. For one thing, new brands are impossible to compare with traditional brands with respect to for example odds of their ricockulous, cheap-looking, pre-rusted hulks breaking down or spontaneously combusting in shame. So of course the brand offers 36-year warranties, because the manufacturing and material cost is comparable to that of a small stove. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, KIA, Huyndai, Daewoo and other brand names sounding suspiciously like FookHue.

So in the end, there were only two...


Anders said...

...there can be only one...

Wilhelm said...

How true....and now there is

Anders said...

...and btw, shouldn't that be "Hei dä, Saab"? :D

And the decision is....?